Top Things to do in Columbus Ohio
In 2015, the population of Columbus, Ohio’s capital, was estimated to be at 900,000. Its first settlers were the Mound Builders, who built clay mounds in a variety of forms for religious, ceremonial, and burial purposes for 5,000 years. Around the 1700s, the first permanent white settlers arrived in the Midwest and chose the name Columbus for the capital.
Columbus is known for a variety of things, including having one of the state’s largest universities and (renowned) football schools, as well as having one of the best zoos. It’s also regarded as having one of the best municipal park systems in the country, with 16 parks spanning 24,000 acres.
Visit the Franklin Park Zoo and Botanical Gardens, be married at one of the distinctive wedding venues, or take the kids to a planetarium show at the Center of Science and Industry. Some of the top tourist attractions and best places to visit in Columbus Ohio are listed below. There’s so much more to discover about this interesting city, so keep reading to learn about the top things to do in Columbus Ohio!
- Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: The staff of these vibrant gardens and stunning conservatory works tirelessly to bring the 88 acres of groomed grounds to live. They are particularly lovely to see in the spring when hundreds of vibrantly colored bulbs begin to poke their heads out into the world. However, each season has its own set of benefits, and in the winter, evergreen tree displays and rich winter foliage are the order of the day. This is a fantastic area for the whole family to have a stroll. The beautiful local butterflies and fish pond will delight the children. There is also a wonderful café on the premises, as well as a gift shop where you may purchase souvenirs from your stay. It is one of the best tourist attractions in Columbus, Ohio.
- Walk around the German Village: The German Village is a 233-acre historical area just south of downtown Columbus (94ha). It’s a wonderful place to buy, eat, or simply stroll about and see the gorgeous brick houses and cobblestone streets. Bookshops, art museums, German bars, traditional fudge, and other sweets, and plenty of superb coffee may all be found here. Spend the afternoon here roaming, photographing, and creating a parallel existence for yourself.
- Lake Erie Islands: The Lake Erie Islands are located within the Great Lake, as the title indicates, and is the top places to visit in Columbus, Ohio. The islands of Lake Erie can be reached by ferry from several locations along the coast. There are several tourist-oriented islands, as well as a few that are privately owned or need a membership. Kelleys Island is one of the most popular public islands. You can go right to Glacial Grooves State Park as you arrive, which was formed by glaciers sliding over limestone formations. Look for signs pointing to Inscription Rock, which is marked by indigenous petroglyphs, near the ferry dock.
- See a show at the Columbus Civic Theater: The Columbus Civic Theater is a charming modest theatre in the heart of the city. Stop by on your way through Columbus for an intimate interactive experience; it seats only 50 people and features a new show every month. If you’re in the region around the holidays, don’t miss the theater’s annual performance of A Christmas Carol. However, there are a variety of performances available throughout the year. Also, pick up a bottle of wine for a post-theater refreshment at Weiland’s Market, just down the street.
- Ohio Stadium: Ohio Stadium, often known as The Horseshoe, “The House That Harley Built,” or “The Shoe,” is the home football ground of Ohio State University. Aside from that, it’s a popular concert hall, with well-known acts such as Metallica and The Rolling Stones attracting large crowds with their energetic performances. It is the third-largest football stadium in the United States, with a capacity of slightly under 105,000 people. The Stadium is truly a landmark, and it is well worth a visit just to experience the atmosphere! The food and drinks are deserving of consideration as well!
- Grab a bite to eat at the North Market: Since its inception in 1876, Columbus’ North Market has provided residents with the finest produce, meats, and cheeses available from local artists and foreign sellers — come hungry. More than 30 merchants sell a range of goods, include furniture, jewelry, flowers, doughnuts, Mexican food, bubble tea, artisanal bakery items, and, of course, fantastic beer and coffee, at this indoor market. It’s a terrific place to get home gifts or find the right new knickknack for your living space.
- North Market Farmer’s Market: This is one of Southern Ohio’s largest, as well as one of its oldest, farmer’s markets! The variety of fresh produce on show from local growers is incredible, with over 20 farmers offering their delectable homegrown fruit and veggies, plants, flowers, honey, and aromatic herbs. If you and your family wish to stop for a bite to eat and drink, there are also fantastic culinary options that include food from many global places, all of which are delicious! Every Saturday at 8 a.m., the market is open.
- Go to Villa Nova’s happy hour: This Italian-American local restaurant that understands how to attract more customers by offering the best happy hour in town. While eating wings, pizza, subs, and other bar favorites enjoy significantly priced taps and rail cocktails. You’d better hurry, though, because this Columbus offer is only available for a limited time. If you choose to stay for dinner, Villa Nova has a large and delicious cuisine. The fettuccine alfredo with chicken, served with homemade limoncello, is a personal favorite. Trying local cuisine is one of the best things to do in Columbus and this restaurant is perfect place to do so.
- ZipZone Canopy Tours: With two excursions to choose from, one lasting an hour and a half as well as the other two hours, this is an incredible opportunity to experience the city’s natural splendor. Two zip lines, two sky bridges, and the option of a free fall rapid jump or a rappel are included in the newest shortened tour. The longer excursion is divided into smaller groups, allowing you to zoom around while taking in breathtaking vistas of wildlife, flowers, and fauna. The organization places a high priority on safety, and you’ll be escorted throughout by knowledgeable advisers who will handle your safety equipment, provide all essential instructions, and run the brake system.
- Explore the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium: A trip to Columbus would be incomplete without a visit to the zoo. With roughly 10,000 creatures in its different exhibits, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of the greatest in the country. The polar display, which features polar bears and arctic foxes, and the African exhibit, which features lions and cheetahs, are both attractions. Flamingos, tortoises, giraffes, and aardvarks round out the list of species to observe and interact with.
- Bike the Olentangy Greenway Trail: Consider taking a bike tour of the city for a more hands-on experience. The Olentangy Greenway Trail is a lovely trail that begins at Antrim Park on Columbus’ north part. On its way to downtown, the trail passes through several areas, including Whetstone Park. There are several scenic stops and parks along the way as you go south into downtown and past Ohio Stadium.
- Find your way into Otherworld: Otherworld, a cross between a large video game and an art piece, is described as “augmented reality” by founder Jordan Renda. You can go around the 32,000-square-foot (2,973-square-meter) building, which has a distinct theme in each room. Walking into a cartoon, crawling around within an arcade game, and enjoying good a large, interactive video game and movie are among the experiences available. It doesn’t matter if you’re scared, captivated, or startled – anything goes here.
- Enjoy the vibe at Short North: Short North got its moniker from law enforcement officers remarking on how close the region was to downtown. This culturally rich neighborhood, which was formerly artsy with hipster vibes, has gotten increasingly pricey over time. It is, nonetheless, a wonderful area to visit, despite the exorbitant property costs. Come hungry since the food choice is fantastic. Delicious grilled cheese sandwiches can be found at Bodega, wonderful cocktails can be found at Mouton, and exciting music can be found at Skully’s Music-Diner. It’s a very gay-friendly and inclusive neighborhood with a lively environment.
- Center of Science and Industry (COSI): The COSI is particularly popular with families, thanks to interactive displays, fantastic planetarium performances, and other activities designed to pique children’s enthusiasm for science and technology. New exhibitions are changed daily, ensuring that there is always something new to see. The entire top level is set out for children aged “Birth to First Grade,” with lots of space to run around in. Don’t worry, your older children will have enough to do as well, with a variety of hands-on activities geared toward all levels of learning.
- Whetstone Park / Park of Roses: The fragrant 13-acre Park of Roses, which includes over 11,000 roses and 350 various types of this exquisite bloom, has been around for almost 60 years. The greatest time to see these magnificent flowers is from mid-June to mid-September when they are in full bloom. Of course, there is plenty to see at other times of the year as well; there are numerous paths to stroll and run through, as well as plenty of space for your children to kick a few soccer balls around and a great playground for the little ones. The many seats that have been put throughout the park in memory of a loved one who has recently died are a great addition. No wonder, it is one of the best places to see in Columbus, Ohio.
- Topiary Park: For individuals who enjoy botany and creativity, the Topiary Park is a must-see in Columbus. These plants have been sculpted into stunning works of art. It is located near downtown Columbus and is one of the top tourist attractions of Columbus. Animals such as cats and dogs, as well as individuals dressed in formal attire, are among the astonishing shapes at Topiary Park. All of these are shown with meticulous attention to detail and nuance. The sculptures have a realistic appearance while still keeping their plant-based origins. Topiary Park exemplifies the joy that can be found in Columbus. You also don’t want to rush through your appointment. Instead, take the time to enjoy each design and consider the amount of effort that went into it.
- Easton Town Center: Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the best tourist attractions in the country. It first opened in 1999 and has since become one of the coolest shopping destinations in the Midwest. When you visit Easton Town Center, there is so much to do. Easton Town Center’s style sets it apart from other shopping centers. It’s designed to resemble old-fashioned cities, giving it a special charm. You can realize how much attention has gone into this entire Columbus complex as you shop businesses like Barnes & Noble and Abercrombie & Fitch. Apart from shopping, you may sample delicious food from a variety of cuisines and watch comedic acts. Because of how much wonder it combines, Easton Town Center is one of the popular tourist spots in Columbus. Easton Town Center is a great place to go on a date with your spouse or another loved one.
- Scioto Mile: Scioto Mile is a 145-acre parkland that is popular with locals and tourists alike for walking or riding down to the Scioto River. Along the journey, you’ll be able to see the city’s amazing 15,000 sq ft interactive fountain, the country’s largest outdoor climbing wall, and the 120-acre Scioto Audubon, where you’ll be able to observe a variety of shorebirds. There are other events to enjoy, such as free summer concerts, making this an excellent location for a family picnic!
What’s next waiting for you?
Above is the list of the top 18 things to do in Columbus, Ohio. You can expect excitement whether you’re in downtown Columbus, Short North, or elsewhere. In Columbus, Ohio, there are so many exciting things to do. There are fun activities for people of all ages and interests available at all hours of the day and night. If you’re searching for a fun way to spend a weekend in the Midwest, Columbus, Ohio is the place to go. It’s a city with a big heart, not only in terms of size but also in terms of population. Now you know where to go and what to do in Columbus Ohio, you can plan your tour with utmost enthusiasm. Check out our other travel guides to explore best places to visit near Columbus Ohio.